Category Archives: Books
In which Liz tells Frank about literature.
Let’s just get this out of the way — when you and I last got together to talk about the world of Dune, a young man named Timothee Chalamet was at that point best known as the actor who played the teenage version of Casey Affleck in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. That’s why we never dig into Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal work in the latest installment of Liz Tells Frank Live! — though, to be fair, David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation gave us plenty to discuss!
As you and I get ready for the first-ever digital Liz Tells Frank Live experience(!!!!!!!), it’s a thrill to look back at how much fun these were to produce in meatspace. Special thanks to producer David Nett, live-tweeter Jason Merrell, guest introducer Jay Bushman, the live studio audience for attending, and as always, you for listening!
PS: Again, did I mention that Liz Tells Frank Live is coming back?! That feels important to mention again! May 1, 2021, 5 PM PT! Live on YouTube!
How I wish I could say that, in our most recent live adventure, I told you everything that was bonkers dumb about the publishing phenomenon/blockbuster/BDSM misrepresentation “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Because oh god, there is SO MUCH to tell you about! But I did tell you a LOT about it, most importantly the complete backstory about this story’s roots and what it means for fan culture.
And audio-only, available via iTunes or below!
This presentation includes swears, dancing vampires, “Saturday Night Live” sketches and (unlike the actual film) the notorious tampon scene. Thank you, Frank, for letting it happen. And thanks to everyone who helped make it possible!
Do you want to be cool like them? Well, the next Liz Tells Frank: Live is COMING SOON. Get ready for March. Get ready for something we genuinely love.
PS: Please don’t forget that our dear friend John told us in detail about the books a couple of years ago. Our struggle is real, and ongoing. Forever thanks to John.
We did it before — now we’re going to do it again.
It’s happening. It’s in North Hollywood. It’s open to the public. And yes, technically we’ve been over this one. But NOT LIKE THIS. Guarantee it. (For one thing — snacks and prizes! Those things are fun, Frank!)
Ready your inner goddess, Frank. I’m sure she’s already quivering with anticipation.
So my history with romance novels is long, complicated and surprisingly personal — but it began at summer camp. The year I was 12 or 13, one of the girls in my cabin at camp received a care package from a friend containing a half-dozen paperback romances, and they were passed around during hushed nights outside or in, the books falling open easily to the naughtiest bits.
It was exciting and fun — I found sex on the page to be far less scary than the prospect of real sex with a human being — and even when I stopped reading them, I never lost a residual fondness for the genre.
Since those smoky camp days, the romance novel industry has undergone some major shifts, but none so big as the advent of self-publishing, which has allowed writers with followings to make more money from their books than they might with a traditional publisher — it’s such a huge shift in the business that it’s led me to explore self-publishing myself (I make significantly less from sales than most romance novelists, alas).
But one of the things self-publishing rewards is specification — which is why, when I heard about author Virginia Wade, who makes $30,000 a month from her self-published Bigfoot erotica on Amazon, I wasn’t terribly shocked. Amused, sure, but not shocked. Especially when I saw that she employs one of the self-published ebook author’s most common strategies — make the first taste free, have them coming back for more.
This strategy also made it possible for me to read Moan for Bigfoot, the story that kicks off Wade’s epic Sasquatch romance series, for absolutely no money. Given that “absolutely no money” was the price I was willing to spend on it, Frank, it worked out really well!
So, how does Bigfoot erotica actually play out? I sat down to find out! Bigfoot erotica! WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG. Read the rest of this entry
Are you sitting down? You’re not walking anywhere, right, setting yourself up for some amazing pratfall once I conclude this vaguely cliche beginning and tell you something utterly ridiculous? Maybe take a seat, relax, though not too much. BE ON YOUR GUARD, Frank, because I have SHOCKING NEWS…
…We now live in a world where the man who directed Constantine made a better Hunger Games movie than the man who directed Pleasantville. Yes, I’m saying that the man who thought Shia LaBeouf would be a believable street tough has out-performed the man who gave us one of the more unappreciated and beautiful films of the 1990s.
(I mean, sure, Gary Ross’s use of the word “colored” ends up being pretty heavy-handed, but I adore the scene where Reese Witherspoon learns to love books, so shut up, Pleasantville haters.)
(And yes, also, sure, Francis Lawrence did make one of the best casting moves ever by signing up Tilda Swinton as the angel Gabriel but WHATEVER.)
Anyways, Frank, the point is that Catching Fire? It is really good! It is, in fact, arguably better than the film which came before it! I was told this in advance, but was very doubtful (see above). And yet, totally true.
The reasons for why, though, are pretty simple… Read the rest of this entry
There’s nothing like a good thrilling yarn, is there? So rarely, it seems, do I have time to curl up on the couch with a book that just grabs me by the neck and demands my attention — even if I know that I’m never going to read the book again, even if I don’t think the book is all that good, I still find that getting sucked into a story is one of modern life’s most potent pleasures.
Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, the hot book everyone was talking about a few months ago, was like that for me. I’m not genuinely sure I LOVED it (except for a few bits, which we’ll get to) but it was compelling as fuck, using its first-person POV narrative to carefully dole out secrets and surprises to the audience. And as news continues regarding the upcoming film adaptation, I find myself getting more and more excited to see it on the big screen.
What is it about the mysteries of Gone Girl that makes it work so well? I’ll tell you, Frank, but with this caveat — it really is a great read, especially if you like taudry scandals and gender roles commentary. If you (or anyone reading this) ain’t in the mood, I totally don’t blame you. If only because that validates the entire existence of this blog!
So, Gone Girl starts… Read the rest of this entry